Saturday, January 24, 2009

Move 12 Small things...

...or something along those lines. I'm not exactly sure how the quote goes, but a friend of mine read a book on Feng Shui and now she's my expert. She said "move 12 small things before you move one big thing." I took it with a giant pinch of salt until this evening. I've been a bit lethargic. Definitely down about the weather being so frigid. The humidity has been low, so cranking the heat up still leaves me feeling cold. Obviously a humidifier is the solution. A trip to Target (as well as IKEA) are both on the horizon for tomorrow morning. Anyhow, I felt like a change was in order, and small changes weren't taking care of it. Normally, finding enough old clothes to fill a bag for goodwill, or cleaning out a closet helps. Dishes (oddly enough) have been a slice of salvation. Yet, these past two weeks, not even the small things work. Perhaps I'm alone, but the enjoyment of coming home to a clean and empty kitchen sink makes me feel like I've earned the right to kick my shoes off and take a knee. After eleven and a half months and much frustration, the bedroom finally got the big shuffle, and I was left with a new sanctuary for reading, researching, creating, and drinking.

Fact is, lately I haven't been so much concerned with what I've been drinking. I haven't been hot to review a hundred different teas just so I can share my tasting notes. It's winter time, I'm cold, work has been hectic, and the demands of a growing child all occupy the time that would otherwise be spent happily inside of a Moleskine. What I do know is that a big part of enjoying tea is being in a comfortable position. In many regards, I miss my old kitchen. I miss heating water on a gas stove. Above all else, the lighting was pristine. The stove had a single incandescent bulb tucked into the range hood that lit the small kitchen perfectly. There wasn't even room for chairs, but it just felt right.

Tonight, I was talking with another friend of mine and she sent me this, which came from a friend that follows her blog, which came from a friend of theirs via Twitter. I'm not sure what the real origin is.

"We seldom ask for what we really want. We ask for what we think we can get or ought to have, but seldom ask for what we really want. Ask."

Sure, I'm a single dad. I don't have the fanciest house, and not a ton of cash but I'm doing pretty well for myself. Why can't I have the most enjoyable place to reside while I'm here? The answer is simple. I can. I just settled for less than what I really wanted. I think as people, we often do that to make things easier for those around us. Perhaps it just gives us the perception that it makes things easier for those closest to us. When it comes to one's happiness, we have to look out for ourselves too.

Some of that resonates and leaves a somewhat unsatisfied feeling in my gut, but most of it is hopeful that I've locked in on a better way to live. Simple, honest, direct. When we stop and step back from it all, none of the superficial stuff really matters. It's up to us to figure out what we really need and satisfy that need. The desk, the tea, the placement of everything else; yeah it's fresh and new, but what I really needed was comfortable lighting. I satisfied that need and at this point, the type of tea in my pot doesn't matter. It's hot tea. What more could I ask for?


Bret said...

I can relate to a lot of this. Many a times I longed to be back in my old house in Austin, like you, not the fanciest of places but just the same I loved it there. I moved up to Dallas a couple years ago to help take care of ageing/sick Mom and Dad. They have since passed away and now I can go back home to Austin.I did the thing of making this place my own and trying to recreate an environment that suites me but it,s just not gonna happen, I hate Dallas and so Austin here I come. Ive heard it said before (and I agree) that Dallas is a lot like L.A. where as Autin is more like San Fransisco.

Salsero said...

Fine post. Thanks.

Jamus said...


I'm sorry to hear about your loss. It must be difficult. I almost lost both of my parents to cancer a few years back. I'm sure that having you there was likely more than they both could have wished for, but I definitely can understand your desire to get back home. Also, if Austin is anything like San Fran was, I can further understand why you like it there. Had a chance to spend some time out there about seven years ago and I didn't want to come home.


Thanks for reading!


Bill said...

Just wanted to say, don't sweat it. Shoot, I post every 4 weeks or so. But I am trying to change that. ^_^

Melville said...

I enjoyed the humanist entry.
It makes me remember you more clearly.